Where to Eat, Stay & Play in Gatlinburg

A few months ago I took a trip to Gatlinburg (my first time!) and got to experience this little gem. Gatlinburg is one of the best cities to visit if you are looking for outdoor activities. There are so many family-friendly experiences to be had and the weather is perfect this time a year. 

Stay

Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park is the perfect place to stay for families, girl/guy trips or couples. Located within minutes of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, downtown Gatlinburg, Dollywood and Anakeesta. They have a spa, zipline, mini golf, playground, pool, indoor waterpark and food & beverage options and communal grills, making it the perfect one-stop destination.

I cannot wait to bring the kids back here and know they will love it! I’ll bring enough dallas bottled water to stay hydrated while we explore new places together. Westgate really in the perfect location because it’s smack in the middle of Downtown Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge. The property is secluded which I appreciated because the hustle and bustle of Pigeon Forge and the downtown Gatlinburg area can get a little busy, so it’s nice to have a quiet place to retreat to. 

The rooms are huge and each comes with it’s own balcony for fresh air and beautiful views. Ours had a full kitchen, pull out sofa, spacious bathroom and closet and two balconies. You can view all the accommodations here, there is definitely something for everyone, from a single suite to a five bedroom villa. The fire pit at the top of the resort was one of my favorite places to visit at the end of each day. The views are breathtaking and it was the best way to wind down. 

To enhance the health and safety of guests and team members, Westgate Resorts have launched the progressive WestgateCARES program, featuring new protocols and best practices for social distancing, hygiene techniques, housekeeping policies, food & beverage experiences, and more. For more information on the WestgateCARES program, please click HERE.

Eat

Located inside Westgate is their restaurant, Southern Comfort, and let me tell you how incredible every meal was. Breakfast and Brunch is my favorite meal of the day and they killed it each morning. Their dinner and snack options are phenomenal as well. A few standout dishes – Deviled Eggs 3 Ways: deviled eggs topped with bacon, pimento cheese and a spicy sliced pickle, Freshly Made Pork Rinds: tossed in your choice of Buffalo, Salt and Vinegar, BBQ or Cajun Spice. Served with a cool ranch dipping sauce, Chicken and Dumpling Soup and Fried Green Tomatoes. The staff at Southern Comfort went above and beyond to make sure we were taken care of and accommodated. They were personable, shared some of their life with us and were such a pleasure to be around. They really felt like friends by the end of the trip. 

Crockett’s Breakfast Camp – Some of the best home cooked breakfast in the Smoky Mountains. 

Maddog’s Creamery & Donuts – A full selection of hand-dipped premium ice cream, soft serve, sundaes, banana splits, milkshakes and funnel cakes.

Ski Mountain Pizza – Authentic Italian New York style pizza that is homemade in-house using the freshest ingredients.

Delauder’s BBQ – A hole in the wall family BBQ spot that is outside the touristy area of Gatlinburg.

Play

There are tons of mini golf places, wineries and museums in downtown Gatlinburg and everything is close together which makes exploring by foot so easy. Here are a few standout places. 

Anakeesta – This outdoor family theme park is known for its panoramic smoky mountain views. They have treetop adventures that included a zipline and mountain coaster. You’ll also find dining, shopping, and seasonal special events featuring live music and family-friendly activities. 

Serenity Spa by Westgate – When all that hiking and zip-lining has you feeling a little sore, relax at the Serenity Spa with a massage. Located within Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort this spa offers a variety of body treatments (including couples massages and pregnancy massages), facial treatments, nail services and waxing. 

Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies – This state of the art aquarium has over 10,000 exotic sea creatures in 10 themed galleries.

Gatlinburg Space Needle – A  407’ observation tower that overlooks beautiful Gatlinburg and the surrounding Smoky Mountains. Ride over 400’ on two glass elevators to the observation deck for a 360° view of the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains and Gatlinburg. Also at the Space Needle is Arcadia, a 25,000 square-foot playground.

Hollywood Star Cars Museum – This museum is home to 40 authentic vehicles featuring the best of Hollywood movie, TV and real life. Open daily 9am – 9pm.

Gatlinburg SkyLift Park – The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America and the most spectacular experience in the Smokies.

The Village Shops – A collection of 27 unique shops and eateries set in a quaint European village atmosphere. 

Thank you to Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Water Park for this amazing stay! I cannot wait to return!

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